What are Suffolk councils doing to promote greener homes?

House building (stock image)

Councils are introducing higher environmental standards for new homes. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Councils across Suffolk are looking at using planning regulations to encourage higher environmental standards with new homes - and in adaptations to existing dwellings.

They are also ensuring that new social housing they are building have higher environmental standards which should future-proof them as Britain strives to become carbon neutral over the next few years.

In Ipswich the borough council is expecting to incorporate new environmental standards into its building regulations which are due to be updated by the government in December and will come into force in June next year.

These will come into force when the borough upgrades its local plan - and are aimed at ensuring higher environmental standards for new homes.

East Suffolk council has produced new guidance for developers hoping to build in the district as it tries to fit in with the government's aim of being carbon neutral by 2030.

A spokeswoman for the council said: "We are determined to provide exemplar affordable housing and actively encourage other housing providers and developers across East Suffolk, and beyond, to strive for a greener approach to both existing accommodation and new developments.

"An example of how we do this is the environmental guidance note which we published last year. It offers guidance and practical advice to developers seeking to mitigate the impact of the building industry on climate change."

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Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils are encouraging private developers to follow their own lead with the new social housing they are building which includes high environmental standards and innovative features like heat pumps and power points for electric vehicles.

A spokeswoman for the councils said: "Ultimately, we want to ensure all development is sustainable - this includes making effective use of land, helping to improve biodiversity, using natural resources prudently, minimising waste and pollution, and mitigating and adapting to climate change, including a low carbon economy."

A West Suffolk council spokesman said it was looking at how to incorporate carbon-reduction measures into its local plan. He added:  "We would also encourage developers to consider renewables as part of any plans that they bring forward for consideration as we collectively work to tackle climate change.”